Lens-Artists PC: London calling

I choose a place that many of you know and show it through my first digital camera’s eye as seen in 2010 because a Londoner said it was always interesting to see your home city through the eyes of a visitor.

It was Sarah, and she picked some extraordinary architecture from North Korea for this week’s Tina’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, who said this so here is her city through my eyes.

The photos are not originals – those are mysteriously missing – but rather have been uploaded and now downloaded from my Google account and for this reason are really low in quality. Still good enough to be posted, I do hope. Plus there are more than usual.

It’s 2010 and I’m in London for the third – and so far last – time. There are two main reasons for my visit, No. 2 much more than No. 1:

Know your enemy.

  • Soccer game England : Slovenia is played at the World Cup in South Africa just then. We watch the game in a “Slovenian” pub in London amid some publicity. The beer runs out by half time. Result 1:0.
  • Pearl Jam gig in Hyde Park. My friend Darja from Slovenia, who lives an hour by train from London and works there, treats me to a ticket for my 40th birthday and we go together. The second part of my trip is spent in her home with a visit to Lulworth Cove and Monkey World in Dorset. (Sarah: Ewan McGregor, the flu and Stonehenge happened during my second visit in 1999.)
Don’t give up. Photo: Darja

But the first four days I stay in the cheapest hotel in London that I could find to book because they were all so expensive. Many stories go with this trip. Let me try and round up some for you like a sheep dog:

  • When I arrive in my tiny hotel room from the airport, it’s past 10 p.m. and I’m so tired. I have nothing to drink and suspect that the tap water is not potable (but of course it is!), that’s why I keep heating up water on the little heater and use up all the free teas and coffees.
  • The next day father writes to me that the hotel has billed his credit card which I used to book my stay. I alert the man at the desk and he is aghast and in denial. The next day it turns out that the amount is merely held in “captivity”. This says it all about how much I’m used to dealing with credit cards. And Slovenia loses against England so we are not enemies any more and the man relaxes.
  • Before I arrive, I research online and note down stuff to do: an architecture exhibition (I visit this one first and it proves priceless since I take down addresses of things that appeal to be visited later); a free theatre performance is booked in advance on top of Greenwich where you pretend together with other audience members and actors that it is war and you are the government (It is hot in that orange shipping container!); a mysterious exhibition that promises fruit that is good for your eyes at the Ophthalmology Office (or similar) (It is horrible, just some plastic fruit under glass. When I ring the bell, they are really surprised to see me there. Internet is not always to be trusted); a collection of songs to be played at funerals of various artists of Yugoslav origin is gathered in a small art centre in a pretty part of London I’d never go otherwise (It makes me cry); and at least three museums (The Surreal House at the Barbican is the best).
  • My friend laughs at me for wanting to go to the Bermondsey tube station for some architectural reason and then I find nothing at all there to cheer about. She also laughs because I pronounce it as Bermoooondsey.
  • I’m most impressed by the Gherkin and follow it around with my camera. Other locations that the architecture exhibition made me track down include The Circle, The Ark and Minster Court.
  • Surprisingly few if any doors are captured. I remember clearly finding Scotland Yard entrance by pure chance and clicking on it, but this photo was not uploaded to my Google account and it appears lost with all the others.

Before I guide you through what remains of my days in London – with the emphasis on architecture – as seen through my first digital camera, a bulky Canon, three news in brief:

  • Just when I decided to buy this 18-200 mm Tamron lens for my new old Nikon D5000 to get myself some zoom, amore sends me this link for a Sigma 18-250 mm for 75 Eur more. Tamron vs. Sigma, any experience? (It’s high time. Birds have been pulling faces at me.)
  • Måneskin, the last Eurovision Song Contest winners from Italy and amore’s Number One current band (because The Clash are #1 of all times) opened for Rolling Stones two nights ago in Las Vegas. I was so impressed with their cover of I Wanna Be Your Dog that I slammed around the house. I’m considering making a shirt for my dog to wear (not!). I didn’t care for their attire though. (The whole show is available on YouTube.)
  • No-look Luka decided yet another game with a crazy three and again against Boston Celtics. I must leave this here:

And now for something completely different: London in one hot week in June 2010.

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Tina at Travels and Trifles: Interesting architecture

This day in my blogging history

Published by Manja Maksimovič

A Slovenian in Italy for love. Blogger, photographer, translator and would-be writer who would be a writer if she wrote. Plus reluctant but emerging poet. Beware.

50 thoughts on “Lens-Artists PC: London calling

  1. A lot of familiar sights there. I see you found the South Bank skate park. You sometimes see a gem in there but they tend to be very short lived. A pity you didn’t see the Leake Street Tunnel while you were in the vicinity; it’s only a 10 minute walk away from there

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good question. I’m assuming the tunnel has been there since the railway station was built in 1848, but I don’t know for how long it been a street art venue though. I got into street art in 2014 but didn’t ‘discover’ Leake Street until sometime in 2015.😎

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the name-check and link 😀 I did indeed say that, and you’ve proved me right! How interesting that you visited not only many of my own favourite spots (Greenwich, the South Bank, the Gherkin) but also a couple I didn’t know such as that station in Bermondsey 🙂 If you come again we must meet up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I’m so glad that we share some favourite spots, Sarah! How about this Ark, is it still there? Is it famous? Or abandoned? I found it so peculiar. In 2020 my friend saw that Pearl Jam would play in London again and told me about it. I had known already. 😀 But before we could even start talking, it happened what it happened and the tour was cancelled. If I come, I’ll let you know.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How fun! So many neat sights you saw while in London. You know I’ve never been up to Greenwich!! I need to remedy that when I go to London again. #1 Grandson told me over the week-end he wants to go to London to hear their charming accents, and see the town! LOL! The 8 year old brain thinks wonderful thoughts. 😀

    Was that St. Paul’s behind you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, what a lovely thing for him to say, Deborah! I dreaded my first time there and were completely numb before I melted a bit because their accent was so intimidating. My own is more American, I’m afraid. 😀 (Even though I had phonetics at the University.) Greenwich is fascinating even though I never entered the Observatory.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a super collection of photos. And though it was years ago, I see the same sights still appeal to you – like the abstract art looking coloured panes of glass. Funny joke from John Cleese. I loved the swinging primate skeletons. What an odd position to portray Newton. Why sit on a seat and work on the floor? My back hurts thinking about it. The video was awesome! Thanks for sharing it. I don’t know anything about Sigma lenses, and I hope your future lens is wonderful, no matter what it is. “And Slovenia loses against England so we are not enemies any more and the man relaxes.” So funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this post. I am a Londoner, and will always be one, although I am very happy in my adopted city of Bristol. My dad had a flat in The Barbican for a while, and I lived with my mother and step-father not too far from Kings Cross and St Pancras. As you mentioned, great to see the city through the lens of a visitor.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Manja, you almost made me cry…longing for London and good old England. I haven’t been close for 4-5 years, and that is a long time for me. If I love one big city in the world, it is London. It felt like home when I was young and went for every musical and theatre…at least once every year. Sigh. You have the most WONDERFUL gallery here, and I must go back again and again for a look! I never did the Eye though, and I still love the Old City most even if many new buildings are spectacular. As I love High Gate cemetery too, a visit there when Litvinenko had been buried was very moving.
    thank you for this brilliant gallery – and in sunny weather as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Leya, so happy to hear that this post spurred nice memories for you. It does for me too. I didn’t do the Eye either, nor visited the High Gate cemetery. This time it wasn’t only sunny but really hot! The hottest week London saw in a long time. I like it that my photos make you sigh and return to look. 🙂 I hope you can return soon!

      Like

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    Like

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